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Terry is the chief car tester for Emery Motors and Frank is an Engineer. Jane has just been hired to work in publicity. Frank and Terry both want Jane to be their girl. Terry has designed a new carburetor that should bring him fame and money, but he cannot get it to work correctly. Terry and Gadget have tested it for over a year, but it still is not perfected. Emery Motors assigns Frank to help Terry with the carburetor, but Terry is not happy because Frank is an Engineer and is also vying for Jane. They finish the carburetor, and to test it, they enter a car in the Indianapolis 500 race. Terry is not yet satisfied with the carburetor before the big race even though it has passed all the tests. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
If one is asked to name the top 10 actors of the classic era, certain names always show up: Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, and James Stewart. Before Stewart became a megastar, though, he acted his way through small roles in big films - Rose-Marie, Born to Dance, Small Town Girl, Wife vs. Secretary, and a big role in a B film, Speed (1936). At 70 minutes, one wouldn't think it would be too long, but it is.
Speed is the story of a young man, Terry Martin (Stewart) who is the chief car tester for an automobile company. He has invented a carburetor which has not been refined or tested yet, but he has high hopes for it. A young woman, Jane Mitchell (Wendie Barrie), arrives there to work in publicity, and both Terry and an engineer in the company, Frank (Weldon Heyburn) are interested in her. When Frank is assigned to work on the carburetor with Terry, Terry isn't happy about it. And when he asks Jane to a dance and she refuses, saying she has too much work to do, and shows up with Frank (she's doing him a favor), then Terry is really unhappy and resentful.
Ultimately the company decides to enter the finished carburetor in the Indianapolis 500 race, even though Terry isn't satisfied that it's ready.
Lots and lots of racetrack footage, with Stewart playing a guy with a chip on his shoulder about his background. Una Merkel has the role of a secretary who has become an executive and is in love with Frank. "I wonder," she says with a sigh, "if a woman should rise too high." Yeah, it's the '30s all right.
I love James Stewart and I really believed I could watch him in anything. This film is certainly of interest to see how he was brought along in his career, but that's about it.
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